A Verizon iPhone in January?

Stop me if you've heard this before: Verizon is getting the iPhone. Although these rumors appear to surface nearly once-per-week, it's rare that you see a major news organization making the claim. Usually they have higher standards for their sourcing than rogue tech or Apple fanboy blogs. But this time, Bloomberg says reliable sources indicate Verizon will get the iPhone in January.

Here's the key blurb:

Verizon Wireless, the largest U.S. mobile-phone company, will start selling Apple Inc.'s iPhone next year, ending AT&T Inc.'s exclusive hold on the smartphone in the U.S., two people familiar with the plans said.

The device will be available to customers in January, according to the people, who declined to be named because the information isn't public.

As you might guess, neither Verizon nor Apple would officially confirm. It's somewhat significant that two people familiar with the plans make this claim, however. This presumably isn't some random factory worker in Taiwan. Of course, it sure would be nice to know who those mysterious sources are, but that's obviously too much to ask. The claim isn't completely out of left field, however, considering that Apple must be planning something in 2011 so that iPhone 4 users can stream video over the wireless network.

Many iPhone users lament being stuck with AT&T, due to dropped calls and other network issues. So if the rumor is true, and that's a big if, then this may provide a reason for some consumers to wait to purchase the new iPhone 4. Maybe Apple will also have that nasty antenna issue worked out by then too.

Of course, if true, this news might also anger some of those 1.7 million earlier adopters who might be annoyed to be stuck in a two-year contract with AT&T. Then again, this would also be pretty great news for both Verizon and Apple. AT&T, however, can't be pleased.